Smith Electric Vehicles will buy its British partner for $15M

Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. announced today it will finalize the purchase of its United Kingdom-based parent company, Smith Electric Vehicles (U.K.), creating the world’s largest manufacturer and industry leader of commercial electric vehicles.

"This sale signals a bright future for the electric commercial vehicle industry," said Bryan Hansel, CEO of Smith Electric U.S. "Being in a position to unify Smith’s divisions after less than two years of operating in the United States is evidence that the market for affordable, sustainable commercial fleets is fertile. The unification of Smith Electric Vehicles will create operational efficiencies and market synergies that will make Smith more financially sound and productive."

The $15-million sale will be effective Jan. 1, 2011. Smith U.K.’s current owner, the Tanfield Group, will retain 49 percent equity in Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. This percentage is subject to dilution as Smith raises additional equity capital.

Smith U.K. has been a leading manufacturer of zero-emissions battery-electric commercial vehicles in Europe since the 1920s. It operates an unrivaled U.K.-wide service and support network that already maintains more than 5,000 vehicles for major fleet operators

In 2009 Smith Electric U.S. licensed the technology from the Tanfield Group and began to introduce the Smith Newton to the United States. Smith Electric U.S. is now a privately-held company owned by Private Investors, Tanfield, and Management, headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. The consolidation enhances a possible public offering of its equity securities in the United States. (Nothing herein shall constitute an offer of the sale of such securities.)

The Smith Newton is the world’s largest electric delivery vehicle with a top speed of 55 mph and 100 miles on a single charge. The Newton is powered exclusively by battery, runs without noise or vibration, and stores electric energy during stopping through a process called regenerative braking. It is ideal for depot-based commercial vehicles, offering great range, minimal maintenance and service fees, and strong bottom-line savings only obtainable through these battery powered electric vehicles.

"The board of Tanfield believes that a consolidation of the Smith Electric Vehicles U.K. entity into our associate company, SEVUS, creating a single, larger U.S. based business, would be in the best interests of shareholders, particularly in light of the plans that SEVUS management have for the combined business post this transaction," said Darren Kell, CEO of Tanfield.

Following the sale, Smith Electric Vehicles will continue to develop emerging-technology electric vans and trucks with greatly enhanced performance, speed and range capabilities. This makes them attractive for fleet operators in large towns, cities and closed industrial environments. For the first time, fleet operators have an economically viable, zero-emission alternative to using diesel vans and trucks.

Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation (Smith) ( is an all-electric zero-emissions commercial truck manufacturer. Smith is a privately held company owned by Private Investors Management. In 2011, Smith will purchase its U.K. parent company, founded in 1920, from the Tanfield Group. Smith produces the Smith Newton – the world’s largest battery-electric-powered truck.